For all the devotees of the Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar, there is heartening news. Lataji , now 87 returns to singing after two years.
For two years India’s Bharat Ratna who has been singing professionally from the age of 13 has been keeping away from singing.
Speaking exclusively on the return to recording Lataji says, “The last two years have not been too kind to my health. But now this year I am in far better health.I’ve been missing my singing.Now I’ve returned to recording with my rendition of the RamaRaksha Strotra.I’ve done a number of devotional albums in the past which have been liked by listeners. My two albums of Bhajans Ram Ratan Dhan Payo and Ram Shyam Gun Gaan, the latter with Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, have been embraced by generations. I feel blessed.”
Rama Raksha Strotra are 38 couplets devoted to Lord Rama.
Says Lataji, “I’ve wanted to sing the Rama Raksha Strotra for the longest time. Now I am finally doing it.”
Last week she recorded two of the couplets. “I’ve done two shlokas under the supervision of composer Mayuresh Pai. I will do all the thirty-eight shlokas gradually.”
Only then will the album go public.
Lataji says singing Bhajans has always given her a special high. “During the course of my long journey as a singer I’ve sung every genre of song. But the satisfaction of singing devotional numbers is on another level.”
She singles out the Meera Bhajans she has sung for her composer-brother HridaynathMangeshkar as some of the toughest. “It is always a challenge to sing for my brother . My all-time favourite album is my brother’s compositions in Chala Vahi Des and also Meera Sur Kabeera which not that many people have heard.”
Among the Bhajans Lataji has sung in film she singles out Allah tero naam from the film Hum Dono and the title song from Satyam Shivum Sunderam as her favourites.
“And now I am again singing in my favourite genre. It makes me happy,” the music in her soul can be heard loud and clear.